Listicles, Charts and other useless pseudo-science: Media literacy takes more than graphing out your opinion. It takes research.

I have seen this amateur "media literacy" chart through a Metafilter post and will comment here. The short answer is this isn't helpful, and it suffers from the same problems that destroyed journalism. Charts are lazy. Listicles are lazy. They are games, not actual useful empiricism.

They may get a little attention, but no actual useful debate, "dialogue", "conversation", or whatever posh double speak all the nerdy kids are using these days. People will nitpick charts, thinking of finding what is missing, wrongly placed, and other obnoxious quibbles with it.

People want media literacy, but they have the same trouble journalists did: doing the actual hard work to be qualified to give it.

When I was a teenager, I had stumbled upon blaring examples of journalists not doing their jobs. I started to research, by finding their sources of information and comparing it to what the news media said about it. Many times, they didn't align. I started to see how the press works, and how those whose job it is to manipulate media optics (i.e., PR firms) do it.

And after all of that, I knew I still was an outsider looking in.

So I became a journalist. That way, I knew exactly what I was talking about, found the things even the most savvy media critic will miss, and had context and perspective.

I went into the profession with hypotheses to test. I wasn't a Monday morning quarterback or disgruntled employee. I went in to it as a researcher because even though I saw a breakdown on a single issue -- and you could explain away their inaccurate coverage because they were in a foreign country -- I needed to see if it was a one-off, or was it a systemic problem. I discovered it was the latter.

These days, there are many people who proclaim to be media watch groups who have not a lick of background to justify their titles. Their methods are not tested, verified, or based in a deep understanding of the subject area. It isn't empirical -- the same way journalism is not empirical.

It is akin if we have people deciding to be surgeons without the proper training, and then having people overmatching the surgeon who also do not have the training.

We often go through certain traumas, only to be given easy "advice" by people who never been through a similar shock. You become insulted and are no better off by the brainless and insensitive suggestion.

We need facts. We need evidence and data that is independently verified. We needed media literacy about twenty years ago. But we no longer have journalism.

What we need is a new model that is empirical and is a genuine trade that requires skill to accomplish. Because anyone can write, but not everyone can inform without meddling with their own opinions in it.